- February 3, 2018 at 8:03 PM #44915
What are you doing to help keep your students invested in school during the winter months and you as a teacher, fresh and not stagnant?
- February 5, 2018 at 6:04 PM #44956
I am trying to read books on education at the rate of one per week. Listening to The Dock also helps. Very invigorating.
I usually try to add some extra pizzazz to my teacher over February into the beginning of March. A class project or two and some extra curricular things. Random stories or some type of competition.
- February 5, 2018 at 9:47 PM #44958
I often think of Melvin Lehman’s comment a number of years ago regarding winter blahs; he said one primary reason for these blahs is the break down of procedures. We teachers get weary of reinforcing the expectations, start to let things slide, and the needed structure suffers. Chewing that comment has helped motivate me stick to procedures even as I also plan to bring to the surface a few winter traditions. I certainly like doing a few extra projects but more as frosting and not as the cake itself.
- February 8, 2018 at 2:31 PM #45434
Celebrate the 100th day of school with educational activities.
If you live where it is cold, take an afternoon to go ice skating or sledding.
Assign a day once a week, for 2-3 weeks, where various activities take place with educational themes. (Students dress as a character from history and present a short speech about the character.)
Learn something new as a teacher that will influence your teaching. Read books, listen to podcasts or attend a seminar.
- February 9, 2018 at 4:47 PM #45462
As much as possible I try to plan non-seasonal classroom events, such as our annual class party, for this time of year. More than anything it’s because this is a less busy time than the fall, Thanksgiving/Christmas season, and spring. I keep intending to have our annual field trip right about now, but every year I suddenly realize that it’s mid-April and we have to do it like next week.
I know this isn’t completely realistic, but I think half the battle is denying that there is such a thing as mid-winter blues. School is about learning, and learning is amazing! If I can maintain this attitude and encourage it in my students it won’t matter what the season is.
- February 10, 2018 at 9:12 PM #45483
We don’t usually have too much problem with winter blahs. I agree that one’s attitude toward school and learning will determine where we go with wintertime blues. There are some things we do each year in January, February, and March that keep students engaged in school. We don’t necessarily do them because we need “February Fun” but because it is a good time to do them.
Some things going on in my classroom at the moment:
- We usually need to brush up on some habits so I bring out an incentive of some kind. This year we have a path of stepping stones that winds through Story Book Land on one of the walls. Uncle Wiggly hops so many stones each day. The amount is determined by how many check marks are left on the board out of the 15 that began the day. Not paying attention during class or not promptly responding gets a mark erased. When Uncle Wiggly gets to the end of the path we do something to celebrate. Show and Tell on Thursday was the reward for the first time through. We’ve just started over and I’m not sure what the next reward will be-maybe bring a stuffed animal to school.
- We finish Learning to Read on Monday. It’s our tradition to celebrate with a make your own pizza lunch. Each student brings a required ingredient, pizza-ready. (Sausage is fried, dough is mixed, etc.) They each get to make their own personal pan pizza in a pie tin. The pizza party is a highlight that they look forward to from the beginning of school.
- First graders are now capable of putting their own words with their stories. Journal periods become exciting when they see they can write their own stories. And I get excited when I see how capable they’ve become.
- Program practice for our spring program gets underway.
The school board did put on a fun/interesting day for the elementary students last week. We started school at 11:30 and dismissed at 5:30. We did regular school work for half of the day. Then the board served us pancakes for an early supper. We spent the remainder of the day doing relays and games. It was a good team building event that mixed older students and younger students in the teams and had the older students looking out for the younger students. I enjoyed seeing the students working together in ways that they often don’t have the opportunity to do.
And as for personal refreshment…Friday was spent at a school institute, networking with other teachers and being fed with inspirational and instructional talks.
- February 12, 2018 at 11:02 AM #45499
I like your thoughts, Peter, about keeping the amazement of learning alive all year long. If we stay inspired and excited about learning, we will also keep our students inspired and excited about learning.
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